Hello fellow Hexers!

Season one of the Hex TCG Ladder has just come to an end, and what better way to celebrate than to look at just what happened over the course of the season and what the top decks are as things start to wind down.

The big story of this season, and really the Constructed format as a whole since Primal Dawn was released, has been the dominance of Rune Ear Hierophant socketed with MinW Conservation and MajW Dominance.

RuneEarHierophant

At the start of the format, I was really high on a Winter Moon_ control deck that Jeff Hoogland and I worked on that utilized all the standard Winter Moon faire but also incorporated Artisanal Cheesesmythe and Rune Ear Hierophant. We knew those cards were insane, but slowly the format started to take a turn when a slew of Boris Blastforge_ fueled Wild/Sapphire Rune Ear Hierophant decks performed extremely well at the Shards of Fate tournament.

Since then, the deck has died down a bit and changed a few cards, but I have actually been having a lot of success as of late using Rocket Rabbit to try and climb into the Top 64 in Cosmic with this list.

CVM Rocket Rabbit

This deck is still great! It’s less focused on steamrolling with Wakuna Crowfeather now and is just focused on getting a Rune Ear Hierophant into play and then tempo-ing your opponent out of the game.
To be honest, a large number of the top decks are going to have Howling Brave and Rune Ear Hierophant in them because it is just so hard to lose when you can play a Hierophant on turn two, especially when you’re on the play.

There was another version of this type of deck that started to crop up on the ladder shortly after the Pro Player tournament. Havoc won the event with a Howling Brave/Rune Ear Hierophant deck, but one that took a much different direction.

Pro Player Tournament Winner (HAVOC)

To me, this deck is one of the most important pieces of deckbuilding technology to come out of the first season. I think that we are going to see a lot more Sight of the Sun + Oracle Song + Countermagic + Mastery of Time type decks once we have Herofall. Trying to find some way to beat or go over the top of opposing Rune Ear Hierophants became something of the utmost importance in this season, and while a lot of players were using things like Lullaby, which is a great tool, Havoc figured out that chaining together Mastery of Time and using Menacing Gralk was a great tool for the job.



The important thing though, is that they are great at beating the Hierophant mirror while also being very good in most other matches. You can’t really afford to play Lullaby in your main deck because it’s just stone dead if you run into most other non-Hierophant decks.

Speaking of other Hierophant decks, here is the Diamond/Wild Banks Child deck that started to gain popularity at the beginning of the season and is still a very common sight even in the Top 100 on the Cosmic ladder.

D/W Banks Child

There are some other versions that you can find that also use Arborean Rootfather (with MinD Life and MajD Endurance) and Sight of the Sun.

This deck has the ability to end the game quickly with a turn two Hierophant, but can also play the long game quite effectively with its life gain aspect. High Infinitrix and Forever’s Child are able to create some pretty unfavorable board states for the opponent, and we can always just use High Infinitrix to turn our Hierophant into a flying, lifedrain, steadfast monster.



The big draw to this deck though, is that it gets to use Purge as a way to break up the board stalls that can happen in the Rune Ear Hierophant mirrors.

In addition to that, this deck was largely designed and worked on as a counter point to the Yotul Burn deck that Jeff Hoogland had been working on at the time.

Hoogland Yotul Burn

I’ve already written a few pieces about this deck over on the Hex mothership, but I still feel like this is just the best deck in the game. Yes, decks can be built properly to have a great game against you, like the Banks Child deck and the Cosmic Dragons deck we will go over next, but even in those “nightmare” match-ups you have a shot at winning the game either with a great draw on your part, or your opponent stumbling.

YotulMogakC

Yotul Mogak truly is the most broken champion. By increasing the baseline of what we can expect, damage wise, out of our cards, he really does impact the game in an unfair and very unique way. That being said, the deck is not exactly easy to pilot and greatly rewards the vigilant soul. Putting in the time to learn the deck will pay off greatly, especially since I believe that Yotul Burn will remain one of the top decks once Herofall hits.

The next deck that I want to go over is the Cosmic Dragons deck, yet again designed by Jeff Hoogland.

Hoogland Cosmic Dragons

This deck plays on the absurd power level of Cosmic Shaman when paired with the lifedrain and “face damage” gems. The prophecy on it is great, but in this deck it is particularly insane as all of the other troops in the deck have triggers that happen when they damage the opponent.

Not deal combat damage, just damage.

Vampires trigger. Uruunaz and Tiaanost trigger. You can even prophecy onto other Cosmic Shaman for ever more face damage and health gain.

CosmicShaman

Getting the resources right for this deck was likely the biggest challenge, but Jeff has worked diligently to find the right mix of shards and artifact fixing. The new Well cycle coming in Herofall (Well of Ancients, Well of Hatred, Well of Innovation, Well of Life, Well of Purpose) will be a great benefit for these three-shard type decks, but sadly I don’t think this deck will be viable once the gems rotate – much like the majority of the Rune Ear Hierophant decks.

The last deck that I want to highlight is yet another Jeff Hoogland creation. Prophecy Burn quickly became the most popular deck for a bit during the ladder season and even though it has died down a little bit, it is still a very common occurrence even once you get into the top 20.

Hoogland Prophecy Burn

This deck can do some of the silliest things that I have ever seen in this game. Last night I draw a Ragefire, that was already dealing six damage, that had the additional text added to it:

Draw a card
Draw a card
When you play this, draw a card
Copy this

The game basically ended on the spot.

Starcaller Ancient went from a bulk Legendary to extremely valuable in what felt like overnight, and rightfully so. The card leads to some incredible comebacks and can facilitate burying the opponent in card advantage.



This deck really highlights just how powerful Lanupaw’s Sight is. Jeff started tinkering with the card over Oracle Song even in his Blood/Sapphire control decks, and as long as you have a decent amount of troops it is going to over-perform. Once you add in other effects, like copying things, or getting to reuse things, then it starts to get a little silly.
Even something as simple as copying a Zygmunt’s Game or Combat Training can spell doom for the opponent.

This deck loses nothing from the gem rotation, gets a better resource in Well of Innovation, and even gets more burn cards. This will be one to look out for when Herofall lands, and is worthwhile to invest in if you don’t already have the deck.

There are some other decks that I ran into while climbing the ladder. Kagulichu_ is probably the most common of the decks that I wouldn’t really consider “top tier”, but Nin The Shadow_, Dreaming Fox_, Zorzym of Korru_, and Warmaster Fuzzuko_ show up every now and again too.

I am pretty excited for Herofall and for the ladder Season One to come to an end. Hopefully I can make it into the Cosmic Crown Showdown event. What about you?

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Chris VanMeter
With 20 years of TCG experience, CVM is a well known MTG personality who has decided to give HEX a try. Producing written and video content for MTG in addition to being a live broadcaster has allowed him to not only compete in the game at the highest level, but also observe and analyze other skillful competitors. He hopes to bring a unique insight to the HEX community and loves playing decks that can find unique ways to end the game without much interaction from opponents

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